100 sit up challenge, 5 mile a day challenges, 5000 miles a year challenge, no sugar for a month challenge, 30 day booty squat challenge…we have all seen them.
I have a mixed relationship with these challenges. On one hand, I like challenge, and I like competition. I think these challenges do a great job of sparking people’s interest, and getting them moving in the right direction.
However, they often have time constraints and an end point. Then what? Did you not eat a gram of sugar for 30 days, saw great results, then went back to eating whatever you wanted? That challenge did not work.
You need to do mini challenges as part of a bigger challenge – life.
30 days is a nice time frame, but that’s a very small fraction of your life. You need to figure out how to rollover these challenges into everyday habits, THEN you will get the long-lasting results you are working for.
Here are 5 Mini Challenges that you can try today, tomorrow, all week, whenever, that will have lasting effects and hopefully you can turn them into lifetime habits.
1. Practice Mindful Eating for the Day
Is it time for breakfast? Then eat it. Walking through the grocery store on sample day? Skip them.
Little, mindless snacks or “bites” through out the day can really add up. You might have a great plan laid out for your meals, but 50 cals here, 75 cals there, a handful of nuts at work, and finishing your kids potatoes at dinner later and you have consumed an extra 400 calories that you didn’t even plan for!
Really focus on only eating when you plan on eating. Try this for a day, and you might find that you did just fine without those extra bites here and there. This can make a huge difference long-term!
2. Double Up Your Water Intake
Think about how much water you normally drink in a day – and double it. Make it a point to drink more water, and you might find a few things happen:
Low back pain might decrease (intervertebral discs are made up of water, and dehydration can cause some discomfort)
You might feel like you have more energy, especially in those dreadful last 2-3 hours of work.
You may feel less hungry throughout the day.
Try adding one full water bottle between each meal, and see how you do!
3. Add In One New Veggie
Vegetables are a staple of every healthy diet. They provide awesome nutrients, they help fill us up, and they are refreshing.
Challenge yourself to grab a new vegetable next time you are at the grocery store and give it a try.
Even if you have no clue how to prepare it, you can find those answers on a simple google search.
I never thought I would like Brussels sprouts until I tried roasting them with olive oil and garlic, and now they are one of my absolute favorites.
4. Get an extra 1000 steps.
Adding more movement to your day can make a big difference over time. Use a pedometer or fancy Fitbit to track your steps, then challenge yourself to get an extra 1000.
This could be a short after dinner walk, a lunch break walk, or a morning jog to clear your mind before the day starts.
1000 steps is right around a half mile for most people, and if you make an effort to just do this everyday, you could end up walking an extra 182 miles in a year!
5. Call a Friend or Family Member You Haven’t Talked to in a While
This has nothing directly to do with health or fitness, but it can really turn your day around and brighten your mood.
Pick someone who you haven’t talked with (texting and snap chatting doesn’t count as talking) and give them a call or set up a coffee date.
Reconnecting with family or old friends can really help turn a bad day around and put you in a better mindset for the week.
Try out these 5 challenges, and then keep working on them until they become habits. Once they are habits, you will find them to be great tools in your fat loss, health, and wellness journey.
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Stay healthy my friends,